Week 12 DFS Values
Have we been living in a fantasy world over the past few weeks? Green Bay fell to Minnesota, the Titans fell to the Texans, Jonathan Taylor found the end zone five times against the Bills? While it was not what we were expecting, there were some great values that hit last week. Let’s keep the streak going in Week 12 in this condensed holiday slate.
(Salaries are from DraftsKings’ Classic 9-Game slate for November 28, 2021.)
Jimmy Garoppolo vs. Minnesota Vikings ($5,700)
The reemergence of Brandon Aiyuk and the return of George Kittle has helped put Jimmy Garoppolo back into the realm of fantasy quarterback relevance. Over the past three weeks, he’s thrown for two touchdowns in each game, and although he didn’t find pay dirt through the air in Week 8, he rushed for two scores. Jimmy G has upside in this matchup against the Minnesota Vikings who allowed 385 yards to Aaron Rodgers and his bad toe in Week 11. The Vikings are also allowing the most rush yards over the past four weeks to opposing quarterbacks at an average of 41 per game. This game has shootout potential, and Garoppolo should return huge on his salary.
Cam Newton @ Miami Dolphins ($5,600)
Cam Newton lived up to all the hype and more in Week 11 against his former coach and the Washington Football Team. While he only threw for 189 yards, he found the end zone twice through the air and once again on his legs. It was everything we hoped it could be. In Week 12, Cam faces a Miami Dolphins defense that has given up the fourth-most rushing yards to quarterbacks over the last four weeks, a whopping 120 yards! Cam has the highest ceiling of any player on this slate not named Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers, and you’re lucky enough to get an extended Black Friday deal on his salary.
Elijah Moore @ Houston Texans ($5,600)
People are finally on notice about Elijah Moore. Over the past four weeks, Moore is the WR1 and is averaging 21.6 fantasy points per game in PPR formats. Even with Corey Davis back in the lineup, Moore saw 80% of the snaps, ran 81% of the routes, and had a monstrous 28% target share. This week, it gets even better with a matchup against the Houston Texans. The Texans have been dismal over the past four weeks against the wide receiver, giving up 47 fantasy points per game to the position. Elijah Moore is a matchup nightmare with speed, agility, and versatility to play all over the field, and he’s going to give the Houston cornerbacks nightmares. If Desmond King II covers Davis, Moore should see a matchup with Terrance Mitchell, who ranks 143rd in target separation. Even at an increased salary of $5,600, Moore is going to return value and then some.
Brandin Cooks vs. New York Jets ($5,600)
On the other side of the Jets/Texans coin, and at the same salary, I have Brandin Cooks. Cooks is always an overlooked asset on this Houston offense, but he’s WR21 on the season. Since Week 6, he’s seen two games with 13 targets, and even though his targets plummeted in Week 11, that was due mostly to game script. I don’t think Houston has the luxury to rely on a sub-par running game this week to run the clock out, so Tyrod Taylor is going to have to make throws to his number one receiver. Cooks should have a good matchup against Bryce Hall, who currently ranks 107th in target separation, 152nd in receptions allowed, and 148th in yards allowed. This game may be ugly from a defensive standpoint, but it has sneaky offensive fireworks potential.
Brandon Aiyuk vs. Minnesota Vikings ($5,300)
While Brandon Aiyuk has been largely disappointing this season, he’s come on the past few weeks. Over the past four games, Aiyuk is averaging 14.3 fantasy points per game (and that’s with a clunker against the Los Angeles Rams). Week 12’s matchup against the Minnesota Vikings is intriguing because, as we talked about with Garoppolo, they have been very bad in containing the pass recently. Over the past four weeks, the Vikings have allowed the most fantasy points to the position, giving up an average of 49.13 fantasy points per game. Cameron Dantzler should be tasked with guarding Deebo Samuel, leaving Aiyuk to match up against Bashaud Breeland. Breeland has just been dismal this season, ranking 163rd in target separation, 163rd in receptions allowed, and 167th in yards allowed. While I think both San Francisco receivers should eat in this matchup, Aiyuk’s salary is $2,600 less than Samuel’s, and that could free up a ton of cap space to pay up for a stud.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling vs. Los Angeles Rams ($4,100)
I’m typically hesitant to add a value play based on a single game the week before, but hear me out. Marquez Valdes-Scantling saw 10 targets in Week 11 against the Minnesota Vikings, and although the bulk of his 123 yards came on a 75-yard touchdown bomb, MVS has the potential to rack up another huge stat line in Week 12 against the Los Angeles Rams. Jalen Ramsey should be tasked with covering Davante Adams, and that leaves Darious Williams to guard MVS. Williams is another lackluster cornerback, ranking 118th in target separation, 143rd in receptions allowed, and 110th in yards allowed this season. While you should keep an eye on fellow wideout Allen Lazard’s status for Sunday’s tilt, MVS is a solid option at his salary.
A.J. Dillon vs. L.A. Rams ($5,900)
With Aaron Jones likely out another week with an MCL sprain, “Quadfather” A.J. Dillon once again gets the backfield all to himself. In Week 11, Dillon played 75% of offensive snaps and ended up with 17 touches for 97 yards. The negative game script decreased the number of carries he got, but he still ended up with 15.7 PPR points. While the Rams have improved over the past four weeks regarding their run defense, they’re still giving up 17.47 fantasy points per game to the position. If Dillon was in a committee system or still in a backup role, that would concern me, but his snap share should allow him to accrue most, if not all, of those points. I love him to return value at an otherwise top-heavy running back position.
Ty Johnson @ Houston Texans ($4,300)
Although it pains me to put a second player from the New York Jets on this list, this week’s slate was thin on running back value, and the matchup against the Texans should be tasty. Couple that with the fact that Michael Carter is out with an ankle injury, and Ty Johnson becomes a plug-and-play value option. Even though he’s splitting work with Tevin Coleman, Johnson’s value comes in the form of his pass-catching ability. He’s averaging five targets per game since the Week 6 bye, and he should absorb most, if not all, of Carter’s targets (6.4 per game since the bye). In Week 11, the Texans got torched by a pass-catching running back who was just promoted off the practice squad. They surrendered 11 receptions on 13 targets total, while Dontrell Hilliard turned in eight of those receptions for 47 yards. At his salary, Johnson is a sneaky good play this week.
C.J. Uzomah vs. Pittsburgh Steelers ($3,400)
We all know that C.J. Uzomah is a boom or bust option when it comes to his value, but that’s okay. Unless you’re willing to pay up for one of the top three tight ends, it’s tough finding anyone who isn’t boom or bust. The temptation in Uzomah is that when he booms, he really booms. He’s had two multiple touchdown games this season, and in both of those games, he hit over 90 yards. The Steelers have allowed 71.5 yards per game to tight ends over the past four weeks, and I’m feeling another Uzomah boom game. It’s going to be a divisional rivalry slugfest, and with all the attention going to Cincinnati’s trio of receivers, Uzomah is going to hit pay dirt again.
Cameron Brate @ Indianapolis Colts ($3,200)
The return of Robert Gronkowski definitely made an impact on this Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense, but it didn’t demolish the importance of fellow tight end Cameron Brate to Tom Brady. Brate saw six targets in Monday night’s blowout win against the New York Giants, which tied for third on the team with Chris Godwin and Leonard Fournette. Week 12 brings a matchup against the Indianapolis Colts who have been anemic in guarding the tight end position. In the past four weeks, they’ve given up 17.48 fantasy points per game. While Brate isn’t going to supplant Gronk as Tom Brady’s number one, he has enough of a role that he should return on value.
There you have it! Let me know what you think and if a player cashes for you this week by following me on Twitter @Britt_Flinn. Good luck!